Nurses of the Week: University at Buffalo Nursing Students Treat 800 Patients on Trip to Haiti

Nurses of the Week: University at Buffalo Nursing Students Treat 800 Patients on Trip to Haiti

Our Nurses of the Week are the nursing students of the University at Buffalo (UB) who spent a week in Haiti treating over 800 patients. Ten nursing students were assisted on the mission trip by a group of UB faculty and several Western New York physicians, pharmacists, and health care professionals.

The mission trip was led by Molli Warunek who traveled to Haiti for the first time 20 years ago as a nursing student to deliver medical care. That experience spurred her to begin taking part in mission trips around the world, and the April trip with UB nursing marker her 15th mission trip. 

Warunek is now a clinical assistant professor and global initiatives coordinator for the UB School of Nursing. She tells, “The significance of the journey is incredible, as the students and providers learn to always have an endless amount of compassion for their patients, whether they are rich, poor, healthy or unhealthy. That is something you cannot teach in a classroom.”

The UB Nursing mission trip to Haiti was completed in partnership with the community organization, Servants in Fellowship. The group served at a mobile medical clinic in Galette, Haiti, a rural settlement where access to care is difficult and poverty is commonplace.

In one week, the team treated more than 800 patients ranging in age from 19 days old to 91 years old. The nursing students and medical professionals cleaned and dressed wounds; treated respiratory illnesses, burns, and scabies; provided antibiotics and other medication; and administered fluoride varnish to 250 children. UB nursing students also provided hygiene education sustainable in Haitian culture to help prevent future illness.

Overall, the experience exposed the students to diverse cultures and raised awareness of the health challenges faced by people around the world. To learn more about the UB nursing school’s mission trip to Haiti, visit here.

University at Buffalo Invites Dementia Expert to Speak on Caring for Rapidly Aging Population

University at Buffalo Invites Dementia Expert to Speak on Caring for Rapidly Aging Population

The University at Buffalo (UB) has invited Ann Kolanowski, internationally renowned expert on dementia and complex care needs of the elderly, to speak on caring for the nation’s rapidly aging population during the UB School of Nursing’s 21st Annual Bonnie Bullough Lecture.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the healthcare costs associated with care for patients with dementia takes its toll on the economy. Dementia affects more than 5 million Americans, roughly 1 in 10 people age 65 and older. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people diagnosed with the disease is expected to triple by 2050.

Kolanowski will present “The Challenge of Delirium in People Living with Dementia,” an exploration of the differences between delirium and dementia, and caring for people with both conditions. Her presentation is the keynote event of the School of Nursing’s 6th annual Research Day, which unites scholars across Western New York to discuss and share advancements in the study of pressing health care issues.

Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the School of Nursing, tells, “Having Dr. Kolanowski as a speaker for this year’s event is not only relevant to the community, but is important for our school’s students and mission. Nurses often provide the front-line health care for older adults. Along with nurse scientists, they have been leaders in elder care and will continue to play increasingly critical roles in the care for older adults in the decades ahead.”

With no cure or effective treatment for dementia currently available, there is an urgent need for research that will improve health and financial outcomes for people living with these diseases, their families, and society.

To learn more about Kolanowski’s presentation at UB Nursing on caring for our rapidly aging population, visit here.

University at Buffalo Nursing Students Volunteer in Greek Refugee Camp

University at Buffalo Nursing Students Volunteer in Greek Refugee Camp

Nine students from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing traveled 5,000 miles to the Greek Island of Lesvos to volunteer in a Greek refugee camp before returning to campus for the first week of classes. The nursing students were also joined by UB faculty and dental students to provide free screening and dental and health care to hundreds of refugees displaced by the civil war in Syria and ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The weeklong humanitarian mission was a partnership between the UB schools of Dental Medicine and Nursing, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and DocMobile. Their humanitarian efforts were focused in the Moria camp, a temporary home for thousands of refugees which is known for its poor living conditions.

UB’s mission was the first to provide dental care and advanced practice nurses to the residents of the refugee camp and students found the experience transformational. The students were exposed to working in a stressful environment with limited resources, giving them a newfound appreciation for treating patients with cultural humility.

Dental student Sara Perrone tells, “Regardless of your opinion on the matter of refugees, everyone is human and deserves to have the same opportunities for medical and dental care…I’m happy that I was able to do something about the crisis other than read about it in the news.” Another student from the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNO) program, Ilyana Rahman, added, “This experience provides students with the ability to respond to a global crisis and not sit idle while waiting for the crisis to resolve itself.”

To learn more about the UB School of Nursing and their humanitarian mission trip to provide health care aid in a Greek refugee camp, visit here.